The American Medical Association (AMA) is continuing its efforts to stop implementation of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), citing the huge financial burden for physicians.

In a letter written to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, James L. Madara, M.D., chief executive officer and executive vice president of the AMA, notes that the cost to meet the ICD-10 requirements will be considerably higher than anticipated.

A small physician practice may have to spend between $56,639 and $226,105 in preparation for implementation. The costs of implementation could be financially disastrous for physicians and are likely to constrain progress toward a performance-based environment.

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The AMA notes that, furthermore, in the limited testing that the agency has agreed to facilitate, physicians will only be able to determine whether their claim has been received, but not whether it will be paid, how much will be paid, or whether the correct coding was used.

“Physicians are being asked to assume this burdensome requirement at the same time that they are being required to adopt new technology, re-engineer workflow, and reform the way they deliver care; all of which are interfering with their ability to care for patients and make investments to improve quality,” Madara writes in the letter.